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Good2gether: News and Nonprofits

Lori Halley 09 October 2008 0 comments

Media outlets need to enrich the syndicated wire service stories with local content if they are to attract readers and advertisers — but few have the budget, these days, for a cadre of local reporters to seek out and report on the "local angle" of a story. Nonprofits working on the ground in a community do have that local content to offer, but perhaps no way to distribute it. Enter good2gether, a new web service that wants to play matchmaker.

Good2gether is the brainchild of entrepreneur Greg McHale, founder of cMarket, an online auction service designed for nonprofits. His experience with the sector told him that nonprofits were eager to find new ways to connect with a younger, more tech-savvy audience — and to tap into the growing trend for grassroots involvement at a local level.

Nonprofits enter information about their information, events, volunteering opportunities, needs for in-kind donations, and so on. The connect2cause widget brings that information to readers in a little box alongside a relevant story on high-traffic partner websites.  It's free because corporate sponsors foot the bill, and benefit from the reflected do-good glow.

This works much like the contextual advertising services that try to match up ads with the content of the web page on which they appear.  Thus, a news story about children living in poverty, for example, would be paired with content from nonprofit organizations working on that issue. Two readers on opposite sides of the continent might read the same article about child poverty, but good2gether will try to present them with local content where its available. Readers of the news story, moved to help, find it easier than ever to follow up immediately — to donate, volunteer, get more information, or otherwise take action for the cause in their own communities. 

And then there are the Do Good Channels. Each is effectively a separate section of a news site that presents expanded opportunities to connect with nonprofits — again, sponsored by advertisers, just like a special supplement to a print newspaper. Boston.com and SFGate.com are early adopters, and you can see a full list of participating partners here.

The Do Good Channel Terms of Service do specify that "Each NPO agrees to contribute a minimum amount of content... and to update its listing with regular frequency," I noticed, so you might want to consider what staff or volunteer time is likely to be needed to meet that commitment — and perhaps to ask a few more questions around that, as I couldn't find anything on the website to define "minimum amount" or "regular frequency." Also, you'll likely want to take a look at the licensing terms, and make sure that your nonprofit will be comfortable with granting "a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, transferable, sub licensable, fully-paid and royalty-free license to use, copy, modify, adapt, translate, publicly perform, publicly display, store, reproduce, transmit, distribute, and create derivative works from any NPO Content for any purpose whatsoever" to the network.

That said, good2gether looks promising for nonprofit outreach.

When Non-Profit Tech Blog's Allan Benamer spoke with Greg McHale about the platform launch, he "came away came away from the interview thinking that good2gether should at least be tried by nonprofits. After all, it’s free traffic and free to join." 

"Actually, it’s better than free," Xconomy Boston points out: "Good2Gether lets non-profits create their own pages or 'channels,' reachable from the Connect2Cause widget, where they can publish ads for local businesses" and split the proceeds.

Nonprofits get more attention in more places online; media partner sites get local content and, not incidentally, new ad inventory; sponsors get a chance to "green" their brands by affiliating with a good cause; and people who get their news online are offered an easy way to "discover, share and engage with" good causes.  What's not to like there?

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Thursday, 09 October 2008 at 4:02 PM
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